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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

imperialists would be fulfilled and Constantinople . . . ' Tsars' city'
... as it was termed in Russia., would be £ liberated 9 after almost
five hundred years of * occupation '. Lenin and the Communist Party
had condemned the imperialist designs of " the partition of Turkey ",
and the dream of " seizing Constantinople/' and Lenin had also strongly
condemned the cc Tsarist Government's plan to seize Galicia, part o
Austria and Hungary."*'  Eastern Galicia, however, had not been c seized *
but already e liberated J by the Red Army, therefore, the c liberation *
of the Turkish Straits would have presented no great moral difficulty.
A fore-warned Turkey who had hitherto so stubbornly resisted entering
the war, now., " on the advice of the British Government " and in order to
have the " right to take part in the Peace Conference " declared war on
Germany.
The sword of Damocles was suspended over that conference table
at Yalta. The opportunity for blackmail which rested in the hands of
Stalin was immense. The Big Two possessed far too westernised an
outlook to deal with this Georgian professional revolutionary. And did
they in truth believe in their arguments, in their ability to outmatch this
partner whose every action was dictated by an entirely different set of
rules to those of Harrow and Harvard ? "kli they came with the expectation
of partaking in a debate tHen they were again to be disappointed, for a
debate meant an opportunity to strike a bargain., but Stalin met them only
on the day when he considered his position strong enough to dictate
terms. The Western partners, who should have known what to expect
after their experience at Teheran, were again taken by surprise. It was
on the cards that they could have disagreed with Comrade Stalin and gone
back by the waiting planes, but in such an event they would no doubt,
while still on their journey, have listened, not so much to the engine
beating out Churchill's unhappy witticism of 1938, " If at first you don't
concede y fly^ fly, jvy again" but to communiques announcing the series
of moves which would result in a total disinttegation of their work during
the past years of bloody struggle. The withdrawal of the Soviet Union
from the war at this stage looked most advantageous to Stalin. The
change of camp still more so. . . , He could then have secured for himself
all those countries of the Middle Zone, including perhaps East Prussia
which he was to occupy and those countries which the Red Army would
be able to occupy at the expense of the British—Greece, Turkey, Southern
Persia, the oil-fields of Irak and India. While the Anglo-American
forces were still engaged on the battle-fronts of the Rhineland and Holland,
and in the Pacific, the Russian Army, partially released from the German
front would have been able within the space of a few weeks or months,
* Quoting the History of the Communist Party, English Edition, Moscow, 1942>
p. 16; and Lenin's The Letters from Afar, Letter No. 4.
423